Juniors, 13 yrs +The growth surges and changes in muscle shape that take place during teenage years provide the opportunity for junior players to develop a more mature squash game. Even without training, natural physical development brings about increases in strength, speed, and stamina. Increased strength allows the ball to be hit harder (so it gets hotter and bounces higher), increased speed means that less shots are winners, and increased stamina means that the ball keeps getting hit hard and keeps getting retrieved! And focused training can make these changes even more dramatic.
As a direct result of these physical developments the average length of rally increases with each age group progression, and with this a deeper tactical understanding of patience, rally structure, attack / defence, volleying, and "T" position, must be developed in the junior player. A teenager that matures early will discover that hitting the ball hard feels good and gets results. It is very common to see these bigger children win purely because of their size and strength, but because they do not fully develop tactically or technically then they are often left behind later on when their smaller peers that learned to play with "skill" close some of the physical gap.
I have worked so much with this age group. At squash clubs, on high school programs, in county / state / provincial squads, and even on national teams, and I am fully aware of the increasingly tough school schedule for children of this age. However with the right approach I know that a focus on squash can be a welcome release for teenagers from some ofthe stresses that they are beginning to deal with. Furthermore I believe that some of life's most important lessons can be learned on the court. The principles of a good work ethic, trying your best at all times, losing with dignity, winning with grace, playing fairly and honestly, and learning to push oneself to the limit, are just a few of the good characteristics that I hope to install in the young players that I teach. As an experienced coach I recognize that I have a responsibility toward the social and emotional needs of all my teenage players.
"David is one of several local junior squash players who have obtained a high national squash ranking during the time Mark
has been their coach. In David's case, he is currently ranked number 5 by the U.S.S.R.A. in the Boy's U.15 age bracket. Under Mark's
tutelage, David and these other juniors have made tremendous strides in their development as squash players. Their rapid progress owes
largely to Mark's ability to hone their skills, develop their confidence, and get the most out of their natural abilities."
Glenn B. Canner, father of David Canner, October 2001. David is now playing on the College squash team for Princeton University.
"Lily has been working with Mark over a number of years and has benefited from his training. Mark has been invaluable
in teaching Lily how to peak for international competition. This is a result of a number of tournaments that Mark has coached
Lily at in England, Scotland, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. Rare is the person that has, on the one hand, international
top-level squash technique to teach, and on the other, the ability to travel with and mentor teenage girls."
Olivind Lorentzen, father of 8 times U.S. national junior champion, Lily Lorentzen
"Chris became #1 in the England U15 rankings and was picked to represent England at the European Team Championships.
I am certain that this degree of success would not have been achieved without Mark's assistance and guidance. Chris has been
a top England junior in his age group for 4 years, but in the two years that Mark was responsible for developing the technical
aspects of his game he made greater progress than ever before."
Dr. Philip Simpson, father of Chris Simpson. Chris is now a professional competing on the P.S.A. tour and is currently ranked 55 in the world (as at May 2007).